Competition Office Scrutinizing TikTok, Viber, Google

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Hungary's Competition Office (GVH) is probing certain services offered by TikTok, Viber, and Google, the watchdog's head said in an interview with Mediapiac.com published on Tuesday.

Csaba Balázs Rigó noted that little can be revealed of the details as the probes are ongoing, but he said the question in the case of Viber is whether users can pay for a service with their data. GVH's analysis of TikTok's practices suggest the video-sharing platform does not properly inform users of the way their data is used, and issues have also been raised with regard to advertising, he added.

GVH is probing Google to determine whether it is violating anti-trust rules by putting links to its own services, ahead of competitors', when users search for song lyrics, he said. 

Rigó said many users fail to read the fine print in general terms of service contracts with online platforms and don't realize the extent to which their data is used, even though the value of that data "may far exceed" the size of subscriber fees.

Addressing a government decree exempting the acquisition of Vodafone's local business by listed ICT company 4iG and the state from GVH's scrutiny, Rigó pointed to global precedents for such a measure. He claimed the deal could benefit the public as the entry of a new, stronger player spurs competition on the market.

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